If you live in 2018 and don’t spend your life under a rock or in a cave, chances are you’ve heard about them. Dryer balls have been around for quite some time and people have been using them for years as an eco-friendly and natural alternative to both dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener. So, how do they work and what do they do to our clothes? Why use them and do they work? What even is the point of dryer balls as a product?
Dryer balls come in a variety of materials and sizes. The most popular type of dryer balls are wool dryer balls, but there are also plastic variants and rubber variants. However, we’re going to focus this blog around Wool Dryer Balls, since they are the natural, eco-friendly, biodegradable alternative to an otherwise problematic use of liquid fabric softener.
The theory behind how wool dryer balls work is that they help prevent laundry from clumping in the dryer. The balls also retain the heat they receive on the dryer and boost the drying process. This way, laundry dries more efficiently and faster, thus reducing drying times in your load of laundry.
For example, when drying towels imagine the mountain of wet fabric flapping around and sticking together for a long time before they are dry enough to separate and allow the warm air to circulate. The dryer balls accelerate this “separation” and allows warm air to flow between garments faster and easier.
Additionally, wool dryer balls help to soften fabrics when used in the dryer. The balls continually agitate against the fibers in clothes and linens. So, after a (shorter) drying cycle, your clothes would also be soft to the touch. When used properly, dryer balls can even take care of static cling!
One of the most common questions floating around is “how long do dryer balls last”? Well, according to some manufacturers, they can last even to 1,000 loads! However, we do advise that you replace them if you see them start to unravel.
How to use wool dryer balls:
Remember how dryer balls work! They stumble around your clothes, separating them and letting warm air flow more easily. For them to work properly, they need space; they need room. This means that wool dryer balls work more efficiently with medium to small-sized loads. Throwing them in with giant loads will help no one. Besides, separating that giant load into two smaller loads will mean a shorter drying time, guaranteed.
Using them is extremely easy, just throw in your clothes, throw in the wool dryer balls (usually 3 XL or 6 regular sized dryer balls should do the trick). Wool dryer balls are unscented, though, and some people prefer to have a bit of fragrance when doing laundry. But there’s an easy fix! Just spill a few drops of your favorite essential oils (lavender or lemon would do great) on each dryer ball and let stand for a few hours (similar to what you would do when making your own dryer sheets!). When drying your clothes with those dryer balls, the subtle fragrance will get passed on to the garments.
To completely eliminate static electricity buildup some tweaking is needed. Some people complain about dryer balls not removing completely the static electricity from garments. There’s an easy fix! Just spray the dryer balls with a bit of water before throwing them into the dryer. This elevates the humidity level in the dryer and should remove any static. However, you can also pin a safety pin into one of the dryer balls and let the metal diffuse the static.